Nicholas A. Baer
Chair, Natural & Environmental Sciences
Colby-Sawyer’s Department of Natural Sciences blends hands-on classroom learning with laboratory and outdoor experiences. Enjoy open-air classrooms across the U.S. through field studies courses. Connect to a variety of ecosystems during local and regional trips to the lakes, mountains and trails of the Lake Sunapee area and beyond. Choose courses that let you roll up your sleeves right on campus in the maple sugar house, permaculture garden and tree nursery, or grab your hiking boots and head out to the on-campus pond, fields or 86-acre certified tree farm.
The Curtis L. Ivey Science Center, a 32,000-square-foot building, is where you will build concepts in the classroom, sit down one-on-one with faculty, study with friends in comfortable student spaces, conduct research in modern laboratories and gather for expert lectures in a spacious auditorium.
The center includes a water-quality lab, in partnership with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the Lake Sunapee Protective Association, which operates under strict quality standards to process water samples from more than two dozen area lakes, and an ecology laboratory featuring geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS) — advanced computer systems capable of assembling, storing, manipulating and displaying geographically referenced information. Colby-Sawyer offers more GIS and GPS stations per student than any other institution in the Northeast.
Escape outside with your professors and classmates to study in Colby-Sawyer’s open-air classroom — a popular gathering space that overlooks sprawling fields and spectacular Mount Kearsarge.
Explore the fundamentals of permaculture in Colby-Sawyer's organic garden and nursery, an active learning laboratory that supports the college’s commitment to local and sustainable food.
Turn sap into syrup in the college's own sugaring house and learn about the various aspects of maple syrup production, including history, forest management, science and technology, and business and marketing.
Colby-Sawyer’s sustainable classroom is a freestanding, eco-friendly space designed and built by students using timber frame techniques, straw bale wall construction, natural materials and passive solar heating.
Work alongside fellow students to protect and manage Kelsey Forest, an 86-acre forest certificated by the American Tree Farm System.